As I write this article, it is Canadian Thanksgiving Monday. I just got off the golf course after golfing with my wife and a friend. To make a foursome, the pro shop added one of the junior golfers from our club. Besides putting on a brilliant driving exhibition and shooting par from the back tees, this young chap could not have been more patient or more polite with playing partners older than his parents.
Two weeks ago, a few of us senior club members took the valet and member services staff on a golf outing complete with dinner. We were one person short in our foursome, and a young golfer was added to our group. He was in his early 20s, was about 5’ 10”, and tipped the scales soaking wet, including golf bag, at 160 lbs. He, too, put on a driving exhibition and he, too, was considerate, polite and a real class act.
This set me to wondering where these particular young people got their training. They were a true pleasure to be around. Contrast that to three encounters I had had the previous week with young people the same age:
ENCOUNTER ONE: Four of us met for lunch in a downtown pub. We had been sitting at our table for some time and were starting to get agitated. A young serving lady finally came by, complete with both arms covered with tattoos and facial hardware that would set off alarms in any airport. She looked at us and said, “Oh, I’m sorry, I thought someone else had grabbed you.” Had grabbed us? What planet was this person from?
ENCOUNTER TWO: My wife and I and another couple were out for dinner at quite a nice local restaurant. A well-dressed and well-groomed serving lady came by, placed menus beside our placemats and said, “What can I grab for you folks?” What can you GRAB? Is this a conspiracy? Is this person from the same planet as the other person?
ENCOUNTER THREE: I am one of a number of mature chaps that meet at a local, new, upscale coffee shop at 6:30 a.m. most mornings. We sit in the same chairs, solve the world’s problems and start the day with a few laughs. I walked in the other morning to pick up my extra large, extra black coffee, and there was a new chap behind the counter. He more or less looked in my direction and said, “What can I grab…?”
“What can you grab? WHAT CAN YOU GRAB?” was my astounded and loud reply. About this time, one of the regular young girls rushed out from the back and said, “Mr. Crerar usually takes an extra large, dark.” I took my coffee, joined my friends and asked them to please cheer me up. What was lacking in the training of these young people and why were they different from the young golfers we had enjoyed so much? Why did the businesses not have training in place for their staff?
I have been in the resort and service business for 45 years. I thought I had seen it all. I’m going to grab a shower.